So today's the day. The day to take the pledge to stop using the R-word. I try not to act like I know how msk feels if he doesn't tell me (verbally or non-verbally) how he feels. Because of that I'm not going to tell you he feels belittled or demeaned when a classmate refers to him as a "retard" or the special ed class as the "retard class". I can tell you that this happens too often and it makes me question the success of inclusion.
Then I remember the way kids in msk's class last year stood up for him when other kids were picking on him. I remember how deeply they came to know him and respect him. It may be hard, but minds and hearts are being changed and the r-word turns to respect... little by little.
I took the pledge. I hope you will too.